Valentine's Day... the aftermath.
…why oh why oh why can’t I bring myself to like this day or at least not feel so resentful on it? Or ignore it completely? I just don’t understand it.
Sure, DH was good to me last night when I got home in a total funk. He didn't want to see me so down on Valentine's Day. The kids told him I hated the day. There was a small heart of chocolate truffles for me (and small hearts of regular chocolates for the kids), but no dinner plans or flowers or a card. We eventually ordered dinner in from Buca Di Beppo, and it was a low key evening with the kids. And while it was nice, and lifted me out of the deep blue funk that I was in, it still seemed... I'm not sure what it seemed, but it was definitely better than the day that I was having.
Maybe it was because I had to say I loved him first. As usual. But, earlier in the day...
I sat in my office on Valentine’s Day feeling resentful because I’d just seen the third bouquet be paraded past my office because people want to ‘share’ the love that they’re feeling. As much as I like some people, I don’t want to share their love. I want to be feeling my own. And I shouldn’t feel ungrateful – after all, DH does wish me a Happy Valentine’s Day, and he does give me a card (at the very least), but I watch all these other women be so starry eyed and mushy with their flowers and giggling and candy, or a new piece of jewelry, and all I want to do is crawl into a hole, or get a hammer and break things that make loud crashing sounds when you hit them.
I just want to love this day, and feel so treasured by my sweetheart on this day, but all I end up feeling is a sense of loss and resentment. I don’t know why I feel so lost… but I think it just goes back to grade school, where the popular kids in the class got to feel so darn special, and there was me – last alphabetically in the class, and the last one anyone thought of. Maybe that's it - maybe it's not resentment that I'm feeling, but a small measure of disgust instead. After all, why would one have this need to parade around their gifts/flowers that they got on a commercialized day like this, other than they need to feel like they're worth something? Is it some sort of twisted self-preservation?
I’m beginning to think Mom was right – you should only look out for only yourself because no one else ever will think of you, so maybe I should buy my own flowers and candy. I shouldn't put value on any trinket, flowers, cards... they're just *things*, but it's nice to have a couple of those little things because it's the thought behind them - someone thought of me enough to buy me a little something that would make me smile. Frivolous? Maybe. But sometimes you need those little frivolous things...
Frivolous – that’s how one friend put it yesterday to me. Frivolous activities and feelings and such. It’s good to have those romantic frivolous things – some women need them. They’re a MUST! But I married someone who is down to earth and logical. So frivolous romantic things don’t happen without a lot of planning if they happen at all, and generally I know about them too. So, no frivolous surprises either.
Ah, but I digress. We're going back to school days.... You remember those Valentine’s Day parties? It started out that they didn’t say you had to bring valentine’s cards for every kid in the class. I’d bring ones for every kid in the class because my mom said that that was the fair thing to do, but I’d save the bigger cards for my best friends and the teacher. 40 kids in the class – that’s a lot of little cards to fill out. But I’d rarely get any. Oh sure, maybe one from my best friend, and that’s about it. It was hard dumping out the bag on my desk to see that there was only one or two.
I’d quickly shuffle them back into the bag and close it up and say that I was saving them for when I got home. Sometimes I was lucky and no one else noticed that I didn’t get any. Other times, not, and I’d be the object of some good cruel teasing. And I thought this was supposed to be a holiday of love?
As I got older, the classes continued to distribute cards, but you were required to bring one for every kid in the class. I still managed to be overlooked and maybe got half (that was a big year!) of what everyone else got. I learned not to open my bag until I got home. I don’t know why the other kids didn’t like me other than maybe I was just the smartest one in the class. I guess that was differentiation enough.
Figuring that high school would be different because I didn’t have to put up with seeing cards all over the place, or dealing with not getting any, I was ready to breeze through. The first two years were ok, because it was an all girls high school, and you’d only see cards or a flower to someone who had a boyfriend at the other high school. Since I wasn’t really allowed over at the other high school, and my parents sheltered me the point of almost suffocation, I didn’t have any boyfriends (other than boys who were just friends) that would do something like that for me.
Then the two schools merged, and I was back in my own personal circle of hell. I watched girls and guys cozy up, get friendly, go out (something I still wasn’t allowed to do, really) and out would come the single rose, or the card, or a poem, or decorating a locker, etc etc. A small piece of me just died of jealousy and want to be accepted like that. The psycho stalker ex-boyfriend always happened to be out of reach on that day – the first year he just stopped speaking to me about a week before the day, and then started speaking again a week after the day. The second year he dropped me in favor of the school slut, but was back before mid-March. By then, I didn’t want anything to do with him, and didn’t let him get close again until after graduation for a couple of weeks and then I kicked him to the curb because I was sick of his playing my mind.
At least I didn’t have to face any of the jealous reaction that ate me up that at home – my parents never expressed anything to each other on Valentine’s Day that I am aware of, and really, they weren’t affectionate to each other as far as I’ve ever seen. I’ve never seen them hug, never seen them kiss, never heard them say that they loved each other (despite they did say that they loved me and my brother, but never with an “I love you”). So, maybe I just give off some weird vibe that says “I’m affectionate and starving for affection, but my parents don’t show affection so I’m used to it if you ignore me.”
I got out of high school, and went to college. I figured no one knew me there, and things could change. Because I would *will* them to change. Good plan, right? Definitely a flawed one.
The first boyfriend didn’t stick around until Valentine’s Day. He totally broke my heart, and I was still in love with him around Valentine’s Day. Maybe that scared others off, but honestly, I didn’t have another date that whole year. Then sophomore year came, and I was involved with a senior… he didn’t do anything for Valentine’s Day either, but he now admits that he didn’t give our relationship the seriousness that it deserved. Too little, too late. I spent that day desperately alone.
Junior year… that’s when I met DH. He and I spent countless hours on the phone starting in mid-January, but he didn’t do anything for Valentine’s Day that year either. Makes sense, we hadn’t had our first date yet, but still…. It was awfully lonely. I had already cultivated a thick skin and a good hatred of the day by then because I knew it would always be ignored. It would never be a day of happy warm romantic feelings for me. The following year I was engaged to DH, and I can’t remember what happened, if anything. I’d have to consult the journal from that year to remember.
Every year since, however, we’ve gone out to dinner. I randomly get flowers, sometimes some chocolate, and always a gorgeous card addressed to “Precious” (a nickname rarely used anymore). Last year, well... I’m convinced that DH just had too much time on his hands
and that’s how that came about. But I’m still smarting a little over that one. Live and learn, I suppose.
But I still want to feel treasured, and loved, and romantic and swept off my feet. I *know* I’m loved, but I’ve not heard the words in so very long. It’s like that movie ‘Back To School’ (yes, the Rodney Dangerfield movie) with the English professor and the Business professor. He wants them to start thinking about incorporation, a merger…. She doesn’t want that – she wants what every woman wants – romance, to be swept off her feet, to have fun! I wholeheartedly agree. I want to feel romantic, and frivolous. Heck, I'd be blown away if DH made a card with crayons and markers for me - it would probably be my most treasured thing.
Well, at least another Valentine’s Day is over, and I can go back to being just like everyone else, and not worry about flowers and the like being paraded around, other than hearing the "What did you do last night" or "what did he do for you" discussions. I can easily avoid those though...
...and I can stop entertaining frivolous thoughts like these.